Nikkor AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 D ED VR (FX) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (full format)

Sample Shots

The following sample shots were taken with a D3x and RAW-converted via CaptureOne.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 200.0mm
Aperture: f/5.3
Exposure 1/2000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 100
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 85.0mm
Aperture: f/4.5
Exposure 1/2000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 80.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 175.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/400s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 220.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 165.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/500s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 240.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 280.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/1000s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 400.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/250s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 145.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/640s
Make NIKON CORPORATION
Model NIKON D3X
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 122.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/320s

Verdict

On paper the Nikkor 80-400 VR is a rather attractive lens, combining a wide zoom range with a long maximum focal length and optical stabilization. However, both in the lab and in the field the design shows its age.

The build quality is quite good, except for the tripod collar. Due to lack of an internal motor the lens does not feature AF on entry level cameras. Focus action is quite slow, even on high end cameras.

Optically, the lens delivers very good to excellent resolution at its short end, however at its longest focal length (which is probably what you're more interested in when purchasing a tele zoom) the sharpness drops to somewhat disappointing levels. In addition, pincushion distortion is rather high here and CAs are quite high thoughout most of the focal range. Vignetting is well controlled though.

So, in summary the lens does not quite live up to the expectations one might have regarding its rather high price (around 1450 EUR/1650 USD at the time of this review). Until Nikon offers an upgraded successor, third party options might be the better choice.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:(Lens)
(Tripod Collar)
Price/Performance:
      
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